We offer our deepest condolences to the Clovis-Carver Public Library, the city of Clovis, and the state of New Mexico as the community begins to heal. Public libraries accept and support community members and visitors without question and provide a space for communities to grow together. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for library staff to encounter difficult situations. In the words of the Public Library Association: “This founding principle is a wonderful quality; however it can also leave staff vulnerable to encountering difficult and sometimes dangerous individuals.”
We encourage all organizations to walk through safety options in their environment regularly. There’s no substitute to working together with a community’s first responders, whether that be municipal police or county sheriff’s deputies. Local law enforcement should be familiar with the library layout and library staff in advance. Build a relationship with local law enforcement and organize safety trainings inside the library. Work with your law enforcement and library staff to draft emergency procedures and practices them regularly.
- ALA Safety & Security Resources
- Emergency Response
- Problem Behavior
- Library Security and Safety Planning
- Defusing the Angry Patron
- Emergency Preparedness from the Public Library Association
- Gun Violence and Libraries: Safety and Security for the Library Public from ALA Library Libguides
- Resolution on Gun Violence Affecting Libraries, Library Workers, and Library Patrons
- Violence Prevention in the Public Library. Public Library Association. Webinar presented May 14, 2014.
Takeaways: At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:
- Be able to identify behavioral indicators of the potentially violent individual;
- Know verbal diffusion, de-escalation techniques to use with angry customers;
- and Have three survival strategies to consider during active shooter incidents.